Monday, 18 May 2015

New Camera, Same Old Subject

I bought a new camera, a Canon EOS 70D; the existing Canon EOS 50D is beginning to suffer from wear and tear; the new one is technically more advanced and offers video capability.

Keen to try it out, I needed a subject.  Conveniently we saw an otter, maybe one of the otter cubs, and it posed for the new equipment.  It fished in the kelp at low tide in Loch Ainort then took a nap for 25 minutes, camouflaged against the wrack,  before briefly going back in the water.   Out again it climbed up the rocks towards where we were hiding and was dumbstruck when it saw us, then raced back into the water before taking stock and resuming its slow progress west, as if nothing had happened.  Four hours later, we saw it again, briefly, fishing 100 metres from the shore.

A nap
Stirring into life
Scampering over the rocks
Meanwhile the bluebells are beginning to look impressive, though as with every year we worry about whether our management regime has been appropriate and whether there are the same number of flowers as last year.    Orchids are above ground and so far I have found the leaves of about 46 lesser butterfly orchids and 38 greater butterfly orchids, with an enhanced colony of the former around three of last year's plants.
Lesser butterfly orchid leaves - 4 plants where there was one last year
A heron which is normally stationed a few yards to the right of the slipway has been spending a lot of time stalking through the grassland, presumably looking for voles and frogs though I have yet to see it have any success.   Nervous, the slightest movement at least 50 yards away will put it to flight, and I have several photos of a disappearing heron.

More of the summer residents have arrived, the latest addition being the bright yellow and black siskins.   I am a bit puzzled by their status; Skye Birds says they are a common breeding resident but in Ard Dorch we don't see them in the winter, and my assumption is that they winter perhaps in Southern England, but I may well be wrong.

Much to see, this is one of the best months on Skye.

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